Review: Beneteau Flyer 6 range

By: Kevin Green, Photography by: Kevin Green & Beneteau


Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck layout Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck layout. Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck layout
Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck interior Sundeck interior. Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck interior
Beneteau Flyer 6 Sportdeck layout Sportdeck layout. Beneteau Flyer 6 Sportdeck layout
Beneteau Flyer 6 Sportdeck helm Sportdeck helm. Beneteau Flyer 6 Sportdeck helm
Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck helm Spacedeck helm. Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck helm
Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck cockpit Spacedeck cockpit. Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck cockpit

The Beneteau Flyer 6 range has been the company’s quiet achiever for several decades thanks to the family-friendly approach to these dayboats.

Moored alongside one another, the trio of Beneteau Flyer 6 boats offers three distinct approaches to dayboating.

The bowrider design of the Sportsdeck with overhead ski arch makes a bold statement while the Sundeck’s enclosed bow and double aft bench invites relaxation. In between sits the Spacedeck, which has similarities to the Sundeck, including the cabin.

All share the same beamy 21-foot (6.4m) hull that has been newly designed by Beneteau’s R&D team and the result, when you look closely, is very innovative.

"These boats are aimed at the new boater market, where convenience and ease of use are important," says my host for the day, Yves Mandin.

The European package includes a trailer, and that would be my choice here in Australia. Or you could launch it from one of the dry boat storage facilities, such as the new Sydney Boat House at Rozelle Bay.

 


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BENETEAU FLYER 6 RANGE

Beneteau Flyer 6 boat range

The big selling point on Beneteau Flyer 6 boats is the usable deck area, allowing families or groups of friends to jump on and take off without fuss. The beam carried forward at deck level creates a wide, rounded foredeck while beneath the water lies a sharp bow entry with deep-vee, intended to give a smooth ride without slamming.

The other advantages of this forward beam are buoyancy and space inside, which includes useful bilge storage.

Another noteworthy feature on these injection-moulded balsa sandwich hulls is Beneteau’s patented Air Step, which is defined by moulded indents that pull air in and reduce drag. These begin amidships and run forward.

Elsewhere, the outboard is set in a deep well, with its floor as part of the hull so providing buoyancy aft and aiding the trim under speed. The top door on the well allows the engine to be elevated clear of the water.

Having the one hull across the Beneteau Flyer 6 range means all three are rated for the same engines - up to 200hp with Suzuki outboard motors being the development partner.

There are three trim levels that offer a wide variety of gear including rodholders, canopy/tent for sleeping topside and electronics options – with Lowrance HDS-7 plotters used.

 

BENETEAU SPACEDECK / SUNDECK

Beneteau Flyer 6 Sundeck

Viewed from dockside, the Sundeck (above) and the Spacedeck (below) have similar deck layouts – both sharing a centre console, with sliding door down to a small cabin. But where the Sundeck differs is in its lounge space and fully fitted sleeping berths. The bow fill creates a large sunpad and the transom seat aft unfolds to create another double sunpad. Just add the optional bimini to complete a comfortable and sheltered topside for sun worshipping.

Underway, the centre console has good ergonomics with hydraulic steering sheltered behind the high spray-shield while the instruments – compass, Lowrance HDS-7 and Suzuki fuel gauge – are all readable when standing up or at ease on the bucket seat.

Down below the cabin has thick upholstery and leg room for a couple to sleep (headroom of 1.49m) while the manual head takes care of the necessities. My only gripe was exposed bolts that could bump the unwary sleeper.

The voluminous hull allows for ample locker space on all models so the cockpit sole storage, that includes the tankage and battery, also has room for plenty more.  I noted bronze seacocks double-clamped, while just behind is a hatch for the fuel shut-off.

 

BENETEAU SPORTDECK

Beneteau Flyer 6 Sportdeck

The side console on the Sportdeck allows for a classic skiboat layout, with bowrider benches forward, but again with oodles of space everywhere – so there’s plenty room for wakeboards, skis and doughnuts.

Water users will enjoy the transom shower tap and the stainless steel swimladder. There’s also a deep locker for ski rope and a manual bilge pump with removable handle for when the yahooing brings spray aboard.

In the cockpit, good details that are shared with all three models include the twin swivel seats that rotate clear of the gunwales, providing versatility for both steering and launching – another selling point. Similarly to the Sundeck, the transom bench folds into a double sunpad. The yellow-trimmed vinyl upholstery with acrylic coating looks hard-wearing.

At the console, the moulded dashboard is user-friendly with chunky electrical switches grouped together near the gunwale and angled for easy viewing. The hydraulic wheel is comfortable when seated and the spray screen does its job, with protection even when standing.

The Beneteau Flyer 6 hulls are very spacious and they feel much larger than their actual (21ft) size. The bow hides some good details including deep bilge locker (which also contains battery switches), locker to starboard and the biggest secret – the head under the port bench. To save your blushes there’s a wraparound canopy. The area turns into a sunpad with plastic inserts and cushions.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck

Accelerating out of the mouth of Palma harbour I point the rounded bow towards the west side of Majorca while contemplating visiting my favourite rocky coves – something I’ve been fortunate to do for the last 20 years on this lovely island. The Sundeck feels the ideal vessel for the job. It is shallow enough to nudge into the shingly beaches to allow passengers to slide down the bow, while the 170lt fuel tank gives the range. Cruising at a comfortable 21kts produced 24.3lt/h consumption for the 175hp Suzuki four-stroke, giving safe range of about 120nm.

Engaging the gears is smoothly done thanks to the Suzuki Precision Manoeuvring (SPM) system that has been handed down from its larger V6 250 and 300hp models. SPM gives smooth electronic ‘fly-by-wire’ control of both throttle and shift, easily managing the inline four-cylinder DOHC outboard.

At the wheel the hydraulic steering require no effort and respond well as I sweep into some wide turns, the hull skidding slightly until its chine digs in. The motorcycle inspired spray shield deflects the wind nicely and under acceleration the seat feels sturdy, as we peak at 35.6kts top speed with the Suzuki spinning at 5850rpm with 60lt/h used. One slight issue emerges while changing drivers in the rolling swell, where the thigh-high rails feel a little low but are sturdy enough.

Back in port I quickly jump onto the Beneteau Flyer 6 Spacedeck to find a very different feel to the power, with the larger 200hp V6 Suzuki running much quieter than the four-cylinder 175hp outboard motors.

I am a wee bit disappointed that we didn’t crack the 40kt barrier, as it’s lighter than the Beneteau Sundeck (1207kg versus 1334kg). We manage 38.9kts as the engine spins at 5550rpm and consumes a thirsty 65.8lt/h. We have roughly the same payload – three blokes and half fuel – but trimming the tilt does make a difference, so more available time would be good to evaluate performance. However pulling a skier out would be much snappier, as the V6’s acceleration is clearly better.

 

THE VERDICT

Beneteau 6 boats

The Beneteau Flyer 6 range offers modern, user-friendly dayboats but with enough versatility to be occasional overnighters and at 21-feet are manageable on a trailer.

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #246, October / November 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

HIGHS

• Good deck space

• Efficient hull

• Functional layout

 

LOWS

• Exposed studs in cabin

• Guard rails slightly low

 

BENETEAU FLYER 6 SPECIFICATIONS

BENETEAU FLYER 6

SPACEDECK

SUNDECK

SPORTDECK

LENGTH (OVERALL)

6.43m

6.43m

6.43m

LENGTH (HULL)

6.1m

6.1m

6.1m

WIDTH

2.52m

2.52m

2.52m

BEAM

2.5m

2.5m

2.5m

DRAFT (min/max)

0.4-0.8m

0.4-0.8m

0.4-0.8m

DISPLACEMENT (less engine)

1207kg

1334kg

1265kg

 

BENETEAU FLYER 6 OUTBOARD ENGINE RATINGS

RATED HP RANGE

150-200

150-200

150-200

RATED HP (as tested)

200

175

150

FUEL

170lt

170lt

170lt

WATER (optional)

100lt

100lt

100lt

 

BENETEAU FLYER 6 PRICE

PRICED FROM

$POA

$POA

$POA

 

MORE INFORMATION

Rogers Boat Shop

Phone 09 415 9465

Web rogersboatshop.co.nz

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